Wednesday, October 7, 2015
The current Jeopardy champion, Matt Jackson, is on a roll. He's won eight straight games, and over $200,000. By the second or third time I saw him win, I found myself rooting against him. He would rudely step on all of Alex Trebek's lines, not waiting until Trebek finished before choosing the next question.
Then, after he would win, he would give a completely insincere smile. He looked like a six-year-old who's been told to smile, and who does so in a purposely insincere way, merely stretching his mouth out to the sides. (The picture above doesn't quite capture it.)
Then it hit me: Jackson has Aspergers Syndrome.
If you're curious to see an Aspie in action, watch Jeopardy tonight (on channel 7 at 7 PM Eastern time). He'll probably be on for at least a few more nights; he's awfully good.
Jackson evokes the phrase "idiot savant." But idiot savants, as some autistic people used to be known, usually have just one or two subjects about which they have encyclopedic knowledge. Jackson's memory seems to encompass everything.
Anyway, he demonstrates what's both good and bad about Aspies. He's completely focused, has tremendous recall, and evinces no discernible social skills.